Making The Grade

Grant Pulver and Catherine Dauost were the recipients of UMD's Top Scholar-Athlete Award for 2017-18

As much as the University of Minnesota Duluth has accomplished on the field of play since the inception of intercollegiate athletics on campus over eight decades ago, it has also maintained an equally strong and proud tradition of academically preparing its student-athletes. And, it has the numbers to prove it.

Case in point: Since 1987-88, nearly 94 percent of those student-athletes who participated in a varsity sport for at least four years have graduated.

In 2017-18, UMD's 378 student-athletes, which includes redshirted freshmen, posted an all-time high average GPA of 3.25 (bettering the previous mark of 3.21 set one year earlier) and of that group, 123 achieved GPAs of 3.50 or above and 10 turned in perfect 4.00 marks. For the second year in a row, the volleyball Bulldogs registered the best collective GPA (3.68) of any UMD team during the academic year while cross country posted the highest GPA of all men's sports at 3.16.  Bulldog student-athletes have now surpassed the 3.10 GPA plateau in each of the last 11 semesters.

A total of 94 different UMD student-athletes qualified for a spot on the NSIC All-Academic Team at some point in 2017-18. In addition, 14 Bulldog men earned All-Academic Team status from the NCHC and 12 women did likewise from the WCHA. That included senior Catherine Dauost, who collared the WCHA's Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award (the second straight Bulldog to be so honored).

A school-record eight Bulldogs were voted CoSIDA Academic All-Americans for the 2017-18 season (the previous mark of five was set in in 2010-11). That octet consisted of junior Jason Balts (football-first team), senior Michaela Hesse (women's cross country/track and field-second team), junior Valerie Hohol (softball-first team), junior Makenzie Morgen (volleyball-second team), and seniors Grant Pulver (men's cross country/track and field-first team), Becky Smith (softball-third team), Nick Thorpe (football-first team) and Emi Trost (women's cross country/track and field-second team)

A school record-tying eight UMD seniors -- Hesse, Hohol, Pulver, Trost, Emily Fleissner (soccer), Amanda Hunt (women's basketball) Anna Monke (women's basketball) and Mackenzie Sedlack (women's track and field) -- representing seven sports, earned a NSIC Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award for 2017-18 for maintaining a 3.75 GPA or above during their college careers.

UMD held the distinction of producing more NSIC Elite 18 Award recipients than any other league school as junior Kendall Hill (men's outdoor track and field), Balts (football), Hesse (indoor track and field), Hohol (softball), Morgen (volleyball) and Pulver (men's cross country) all were bestowed with that honor, which goes to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NSIC's 18 Championships.

 USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country recognition was awarded to five women (Emi Trost, sophomores Melissa Drenckhahn and Sarah Harrison, junior Abby Moore and senior Amber Seidenkranz) while seniors Blake Anderson and Cody Sedbrook and juniors Luke Lahr and Isaac Overmyer attained the same honor on the men's side. In addition, for the 12th year in a row, the UMD men and women were both recognized as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Team for maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above. Sedbrook, Trost and seniors Logan Rubeck and Clint Treichel were USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field honorees and the both the Bulldog men and women also locked down a USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team citation as well.

Senior forward Skye Finley was chosen to the United Soccer Coaches Division II Scholar All-America third team.

Eight football seniors (a program record) –- Thorpe, John Bednarczyk, James Conner, Kenny Kirkvold, Nick Larson, Tyler Morris, Ty Sullivan and Kegan Wirtz -- earned National Football Foundation Honor Society distinction in recognition of their exemplary academic achievements.

UMD once again received an American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for registering a 3.30 and above GPA during the 2017-18 season and also made the AVCA Honor Roll for finishing among the top 25 NCAA II schools in GPA.


Athlete Sport Year(s)
Becky Anderson Soccer 2010-11 (First Team)
Jason Balts Football 2017-18 (First Team)
Nate Beerling Cross Country/Track 2004-05 (First Team)
2003-04 (Second Team)
Breanna Colbenson Cross Country/Track 2016-17 (First Team)
2015-16 (Second Team)
Lindsey Dietz Women's Basketball

2005-06 (First Team)*
2004-05 (First Team)
2003-04 (Second Team)

Allison Fanta Volleyball 2011-12 (Second Team)
Heather Hamilton Cross Country/Track 2004-05 (First Team)
2003-04 (First Team)
2002-03 (Third Team)
Cameron Harper Football 2012-13 (Second Team)
Michaela Hesse Cross Country/Track 2017-18 (Second Team)
Bridget Hines Cross Country/Track 2010-11 (Third Team)
Valerie Hohol Softball 2017-18 (First Team)
Katie Huntley

Cross Country/At-Large

1999-2000 (Third Team)
1999-2000 (Second Team)
Maria Leider Soccer 2010-11 (Third Team)
Tobias Lemke Football 2009-10 (First Team)
Amelia Maher Cross Country/Track 2014-15 (Second Team)
Makenzie Morgen Volleyball 2019-18 (First Team)
2017-18 (Third Team)
David Nadeau Football 2011-12 (Second Team)
Isaac Odim Football 2010-11 (First Team)*
2009-10 (First Team)
Caroline Oullette Ice Hockey/At-Large 2004-05 (Third Team)
Isaac Overmyer Cross Country/Track 2018-19 (Second Team)
Andrew Pattock Football 2013-14 (First Team)
Grant Pulver Cross Country/Track 2017-18 (First Team)
Riitta Schaublin Ice Hockey/At-Large 2006-07 (Third Team)
2005-06 (Second Team)
Kyle Schmidt Ice Hockey/At-Large 2010-11 (Third Team)
      Jeff Scissons Ice Hockey/At-Large 1999-2000 (First Team)
Dan Shroyer Track/At-Large 1999-2000 (Third Team)
Becky Smith Softball 2017-18 (Third Team)
Nick Thorpe Football 2017-18 (First Team)
Emi Trost Cross Country/Track 2017-18 (Second Team)
2016-17 (First Team)
Emily Torve Volleyball 2018-19 (Second Team)
Brandon Wood Football 2009-10 (Second Team)

*Academic All-American of the Year